A Tale of Two Districts

Gerland Shoot-023-Edit_largeDear K12 Insight Partner,

Today, we would like to share with you the case of two districts — one big, one small, one in the Midwest, one in the South. Geographically and socioeconomically, these school districts couldn’t be more different. And yet, as systems committed to the future of our children, they have everything in common.

The Alief Independent School District serves more than 47,000 students in southwest Houston and Harris County. The district is big in size. It also boasts pretty heady academic standards. Alief ISD graduates an impressive 94.7 percent of its students, far outpacing the state average of 88 percent.

Head north up Interstate 57 for 1,100 miles to the town of Deerfield, Ill. — population 18,000 — and you’ll find a much smaller school district, with equally high expectations. Serving just over 3,000 students, DPS 109 is known for an unwavering commitment to teaching and learning. Its educators have a reputation for integrating classroom technology and collaborative projects to help students achieve uncommon results.

Leaders in Alief and Deerfield place a premium on their ability to engage parents and communicate with stakeholders. Administrators use the feedback they receive through one-on-one conversations and dialogues with parents and others to do what’s best for their students and, ultimately, for their local communities. In this way, they are committed to a new era of inbound and outbound communications, one that is entirely different from the one-way model they remember from just a few years ago.

As AASA wraps up in San Diego this week, we hope you enjoy these brief profiles, as well as the other promising practices highlighted on our blog. If you see something here that piques your interest (and we sincerely hope that you do), I hope you’ll consider reaching out to talk with me about how we can continue to work together to help your district meet and exceed its communication needs.

Yours in support of high-quality education,

Gerald Dawkins
Senior Vice President for Superintendent and District Relations, K12 Insight

Author: Corey Murray

Education writer and editor

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